42 miles there
2 hours and 15 minutes each
510 questions total
42 miles back
6:00pm arrival back home
During the past week, I alternated between being very zen about taking the Certified Professional Secretary Exam, and freaking out about it. It became worse Friday evening, and while I didn't have any trouble sleeping, the dreams I had were full of anxiety. Those of you who wished me luck, cheered for me, and sent me good wishes -- I can't thank you enough.
I've been studying the material for months, and brought my notes and practice exams with me to study between exam sections. The first test was on Office Systems and Technology, covering everything from how to open a software program to the various topologies of networks to "are the internet and the world wide web different, the same or part of each other?"
We were handed a booklet of questions and an answer sheet. I took some slow, deep breaths, prayed for knowledge, and read through the 170 questions in the booklet, marking my answers in the booklet along the way, as well as denoting the questions I wasn't sure about. Once through all the questions, I read through the booklet again, this time marking the answers on my answer sheet. I realized I had made a mistake the first time through the booklet on some answers, and changed my mind on some others. I did this for each test.
The test center was in Adams Hall at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL. It was a VERY old building that smelled musty and moldy. By the end of the day, the moldy smell was getting to a couple of us, making us cough.
There were nine other women taking the exam with me. A couple of us were taking the exam for the first time. The rest were either retaking some sections of the exam because they didn't pass them the first time, or taking the exam again because their certification had lapsed. I listened to the women talking, and it did comfort me a bit. It won't be the end of the world if I didn't pass the test on the first try. One woman was taking the exam as "practice" for a future try.
The other two sections of the exam were on Office Management and Office Administration. Things like grammar, spelling, letter styles, records management, proper etiquette, and on and on and on.
On the way home from the exam, I realized my back, neck and shoulders were all bunched up from tension. I called Hubby and told him I'd pick up McDonald's on the way home for everyone. That way they would be busy and not miss me while I took a hot shower and tried to relax when I got home. I did the best I could on the exam and now was the time to let it all go.
The whole circus ended up at our neighbor's house after that for a Cinqo De Mayo get-together -- good drinks, good food, laughter. One of their friends "WW" is a massage therapist, and did me the favor of "working on" my neck and shoulders a bit. That felt good, wow.
Buddy and I got home around 11:30pm -- he was upset because his sisters were spending the night at our neighbor's house. After getting him calmed down, he fell asleep almost immediately. I was asleep shortly after that, and Hubby came home from our neighbor's around 2:00am.
It's been a lazy day here... there are mountains of laundry and dishes to take care of, but I'm in no hurry. I know soon I'll have to direct my attention to all those things that got pushed off because of the exam, but right now, I'm just sort of floating in a kind of vague relief, letting out long, slow exhales.
The results of my exam will be mailed from the Kansas City, Missouri office around June 19. I should receive them about 7-10 days after that. It takes that long because "all scores are checked and rechecked through a series of both manual and electronic edits."
Now, we wait... and get back to my regularly scheduled life, already in progress.